- February 10, 2012
- 2 Comments
In mid April we begin harvesting lilac for the 16th year.
It has become a signature crop and we are improving on our growing technique every year. Oregon farm grown lilac is generally large headed and fragrant. Here at the farm we strive to keep stems long and straight. It is accomplished by selectively cutting stems extra long and grading the stem up to include flower head size and form. By cutting the stem extra long, we prune the plant at the same time. This encourages new buds to emerge and in two years time becomes new stems for picking.
We have about 20 varieties collected over the years.
French Hybrid colors range from purple, lavender, pink to white. We have a couple of varieties that are multicolored. Our Korean lines are purple and pink. They flower later and are dainty, sweet smelling clusters. A very nice addition to weddings.
We are expanding our growing range w new varieties this year.
More plants with double florets and large heads, and putting greenhouses over them to improve quality. It is costly to do this but the finished product speaks for itself. Vernon and I are continually impressed at the overall difference in flowers grown this way.
Most lilac bunches coming out of Oregon are collected from urban landscapes.
Varieties are generally older and lack uniformity. They are thin stemmed and unevenly graded often with florets too open or too tight. Our field crew pick stems that have florets one quarter to half open which provides the longest shelf life. There is a big difference in growing your own lilac.
Lilac is one of those items people remember from childhood for their sweet smell and short flowering season. We are improving on that memory with Oregon farm grown lilac. It comes just in time for Mothers Day! We are looking forward to an abundant crop in April so be in touch!